For Her Protection

DISCLAIMER I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THE HP CHARACTERS THEY BELONG TO JK ROWLING.

Author Note: This Fic was written for the Review Lounge's Valentine's Challenge.

Hermione smiled at Ron as she sat down on the chair in the Common Room. Ron smiled back at her then turned and continued to scribble away on the piece of parchment that he had been furiously scribbling on when she had first entered the Common Room. Hermione looked over at him curious as to what he was writing but he was too busy writing that he did not notice her. "What are you writing Ron?" she asked. He looked up from the parchment,

"A Valentine's Poem for Lavender" he replied, Hermione eyebrows shot up.

"Valentine's Day is today Ron" Hermione said to him, Ron nodded.

Hermione muttered under her breath "I can't believe you are just doing this today," she said. Ron was just about to reply when the Portrait hole opened distracting both of them from their discussion. Harry and Ginny walked through and smiled at Ron and Hermione as they walked over and sat down in the Chairs beside their friends. Hermione turned to continue her discussion with Ron but he was already back scribbling furiously on the piece of parchment, she rolled her eyes. Ginny caught her doing it she and smiled at her. Hermione smiled back and began to talk to Ginny.

They both had been talking for 10 minutes when Harry interrupted them.

"You coming with us to Hogsmede Hermione?" Harry asked her. Hermione appeared to be thinking it over but she already knew the answer was no because she had to meet Draco in the Room of Requirement. They had began dating in secret just this last month, they had been secret friends for 4 months before they had began dating .

It had all happened one afternoon when Hermione was walking round the corner. She was not paying any particular attention of where she was going and she bumped into Draco and dropped her books. He helped her pick them up and even apologised to her which clearly stated to Hermione that Draco was going Mental. He never passed up the chance to insult her or call her Mudblood but when Hermione looked closer at him she could see that he was not his normal shelf. She accepted his apology, took her books from him and made a hurried exit away from him as quickly as she could. she began wandering down the rest of the corridor and as she did she thought back to what had just happened and started to wonder what had happened to the real Draco Malfoy.

Hermione's query was answered an hour later when she entered her dormitory and noticed a large tawny owl that she did not recognise. She walked over to it, stroked it and took the letter from its leg. The writing was unfamiliar so she carefully opened the letter and read the letter. she was about to crumble it up and throw it against the wall but she stopped herself, he could be serious, she sighed her curiosity got the better of her, she would go and meet him and let him explain his strange behaviour to her.

Hermione stood in the Room of Requirement waiting for Draco Malfoy to turn up, she glanced at her watch. He was 15 minutes late, she was getting very annoyed now. theleast he could do was be on time she thought. she laughed at her thoughts she could not believe that she had fallen for it. She walked towards the Room of Requirement door and was about to open the door when she heard a small noise, she turned around and saw a boy with platinum blonde hair staring at her in surprise. "You Came," he said. she nodded in response.

"Thank You for coming Hermione" he said. She gasped, surprised that he had used her first name. He smirked "Yes I used your first name," he said and rolled his eyes, she glared at him. "Will you sit down?" he asked her motioning to the couch on the far side of the room. She nodded and walked over to the couch and sat down.

Draco followed Hermione over to the couch and stood and looked at her. she looked up at him, curiosity clearly reflected in her eyes. Draco took a deep breath he ran a hand through his hair and took another deep breath.

"Hermione the reason I have been acting strangely is ……" he stopped. Hermione waited for him to continue but he didn't. He just shook his head and stuttered. Hermione eyes flashed with anger. If this was a cruel joke this arrogant bouncing ferret was not going to humiliate her again.

She stood up and started to walked towards the door, Draco watched her surprised at her sudden movement. She reached for the door knob "Wait," Draco shouted. She turned, crossed her arms and glared at him "What?" she asked annoyed. He looked at her "Please stay," he pleaded with her. "I will explain please," he said. she sighed, crossed the room and sat back down on the couch.

He took another deep breath and raked his hand through his hair. Then he spoke.

"It is difficult to explain really," he said. She remained silent waiting for him to continue. He did, "My life is difficult and so is my mother's." he explained to her. She was silent for a minute, "Because of your father" she said quietly. He nodded,

"He is a very harsh man," he said. Hatred filling his eyes as he spoke about his father.

"I am not who you think I am Hermione," he said. He took another deep breath and then continued to speak. "I must follow my father's orders without question this time , if I don't …" emotion gripped his voice. He turned and looked at her,

"If I don't he said he will kill her," he started to cry. A couple of tears fell down his face before he got a grip on his emotions.

She saw the look of fear on his face, It was only there for a few seconds before his face went back into that unreadable mask of his that she knew so well. It was fleeting but it was there and she knew that he genuinely feared for his mother's life. She lay her hand on his arm offering him comfort. Something she would not normally do especially towards him but under the circumstances she knew it was the right thing to do.

There was complete silence in the room. After a few minutes Hermione cleared her throat. "What has he asked you do?" she said softly. Draco lifted his head and looked into her eyes. "I can't say," he said, she nodded she understood. She looked away from him and looked around the room not really looking at the room just looking anywhere but at him . They sat like this not looking at each other and in complete silence for another half an hour then Hermione got up. "I have to go," she said. He looked up at her and nodded at her to show his understanding. She turned, crossed the room and opened the door a little bit, ready to leave when it was slammed shut. She turned and stared at him shocked at his quickness at crossing the room and outraged at him slamming the door shut .

He waited a few more seconds, no sound in the room just silence. He then spoke softly,

"Will you meet me again tomorrow?" She looked at him searching his face. "Please?" he said quietly almost too quiet as she nearly did not hear him. She nodded. She had no idea why she agreed to come back and see him again but she had to that's all she knew. She went back the next day and the following day until before she knew it she was meeting him every day. They grew closer and over the months became friends and then four months later they began dating.

She snapped out of her memories, she felt like she knew him now inside and out even better than she knew herself. She felt really close to him. She felt she knew the real him. She turned the corner and looked down the corridor. She started walking again as she took a few more steps each time coming closer and closer to the room of requirement door. Closer to him. A feeling of anticipation shot down her spine and she shivered with excitement.

Before she knew it she had reached the room of requirement door. She took a long deep breath and put her hand on the door opening it, she walked in. She gasped as she saw the room's transformation. She looked down at the ground and saw rose petals littering the floor. She took a further few steps into the room. Romantic music suddenly started to play. She started to walk again. Her pace quickened as she was determined to find him. Suddenly a cloud of fog appeared, blocking her forward vision. After a few minutes the fog cleared.

She looked in front of her and saw the blonde haired young man standing up ahead. She smiled at him as she came up to him. One of his hands was behind his back and she was puzzled as to why. She did not have to wonder long or ask about it as he pulled his hand back to it's original position and in that hand he clasped a single red rose. She stared at him. Her mouth opening in surprise. He stepped forward and handed her the red rose. She took the rose from him and looked up at him. Her eyes shining with tears. He put his hand on her cheek and captured her mouth in a soft passionate kiss.

Hermione did not allow her brain to think. She just enjoyed the kiss and the feeling of love she felt when he kissed her. There was no doubt in her mind that she really truly deeply loved him. He broke the kiss but did not step back, "I love you' Mione," he said as he said it she felt his breath on his lips. " I love you too Draco," she replied. He took her hand and lead her across the room to the couch. She noticed that a box of chocolates lay on it. She sat down and took the box in her hands and examined them. They were her favourites. Hermione giggled. Draco looked at her puzzled "What?" he asked her.

She looked back at him. "Who would have thought it?" she said. He looked at her even more confused. She giggled once more then spoke again, "Draco Malfoy a romantic". He relaxed and smiled, "Only for you' Mione," he said as he leaned over and pecked her on the cheek. She smiled at him. He stood up suddenly, "Would you like to dance' Mione," he asked her. She smiled up at him " I would love to," she replied softly.

She felt secure and safe in his arms. She rested her head against his shoulder as they glided around the room, just enjoying spending the with the one she loved. The clock in the room of requirement chimed signalling it was time to leave as it was already ten minutes past curfew. She sighed "We need to leave," she said "We are already late as it is" she continued. "Yes" he replied. She looked up at him, "I wish we could stay like this for longer," she said. He stayed silent just holding her in his arms, enjoying the feel of her in his arms for a few minutes. "Me too" he replied kissing her hair. She looked up at him and smiled. He twirled her once more before the music ended.

Then he captured her mouth in another deep passionate kiss. He broke the kiss and smiled down at her, "Time to go," he said. She returned his smile with one of her own

"I know," she replied. He took her hand and lead her across the room to the room of requirement door. " I love you' Mione," he said looking down at her deep into her eyes. He gave her a quick peck on the cheek then opened the door. He flashed a quick smile then he went out into the corridor. She looked around the room and smiled as she thought of what had happened throughout the evening.

She walked back across the room over to the couch. She picked up the box of chocolates. She took her wand out, shrunk the box and put them into her pocket. Next she picked up the rose and smelt the flower. It smelt so sweet. Then she carefully put it in the same pocket as her chocolates. She walked to the middle of the room and looked about the room. She sighed as she once more remembered the night she had just had. It had been the perfect night. She smiled as she walked the short distance to the door and exited the room.

The next day Hermione was extremely happy. So happy that Harry, Ron and Ginny were a little worried about her. When she was asked about what had her in such a good mood she just smiled and said, "Nothing." After three classes together that morning she finally had a little break from Harry and Ron and their constant questions. It was so nice to have a break from them. Her cheerful mood still intact she started to hum under her breath as she walked to Arithmancy.

Draco looked at his watch. She should come through this corridor in five minutes. He did not want to do this but he had to. He had no other choice. He looked up the corridor and saw Pansy Parkinson coming towards him. Just great he thought. His face became the cold impassive mask that he was used to wearing in public. He turned to face her as she came up to him. She smiled as she stopped walking and stood beside him. "Draco," she said "Where have you been lately?" she asked him. He looked at her for a few minutes before answering, "I don't know what you mean Pansy," he replied then he turned his head away from her indicating that the conservation was now over between them. He looked up the corridor once more to see if she was coming but there was still no sign of her but then he heard voices that belonged to the trio.

He took another deep breath. He had to do this he reminded himself. He listened and heard that they were just five minutes away. He waved Pansy, Crabbe and Goyle over to him. They came over immediately. He turned to Pansy, "Ask your question again," he whispered to her. Pansy blinked and stared at him like he had lost his mind. "Do it," he demanded angrily losing patience with her stupidity. No wonder he loved Hermione at least he could have an Intelligent conservation with her but all that was going to come to an end with the next words out of his mouth.

Pansy gulped and stared at his angry face. She knew better than to question him when he was in this type of mood. She took a deep breath and asked the question that he demanded her to ask him "Draco where have you been lately?". Draco smirked. Here I go, goodbye' Mione he thought. " I have been secretly dating Granger for a month and have been secret friends with her for 4 months before that," he said

"WHAT?" Pansy shrieked. The next words out of his mouth and she would be lost to him forever. " The stupid mudblood thinks I love her," he informed them laughing as he did but inside he cringed at his false words.

He listened to see if he could still hear the trio's footsteps but he could not just like he expected. He heard nothing but silence. He spoke again, "I was just pretending and the filthy mudblood fell for it," then he laughed but all he felt inside was sorrow. She was forever lost to him. He listened once more and heard her loud sobs as she ran along the corridor. Each and every sob he heard escape her sweet mouth pierced his heart. He heard Potter and Weasley shouting her name. He would not be surprised if either of them came up to him and hit him. He deserved it.

He turned to the group of Slytherins next to him. Pansy was furious as he expected. She glared at him then turned and stormed down the corridor. He turned to Crabbe and Goyle who stood with their mouths hanging open. "Go," he said angrily. They quickly glanced at him. Then ran escaping from his angry mood. He waited until they were out of his sight. Then he turned into the next corridor. The corridor she had been in just moments ago.

He loved her and always would. He had done it for her protection and he saved her life but she would never know what he had done for her but he did not care. She was safe and that was all that that mattered. His heart hardened that day. He knew that he would never love anyone the way he loved her.

Years Later

Draco stepped out into Diagon Alley and held the door open for his eleven year old son to get out of the shop and on to the street while holding his various packages. He then shut the door and started walking along Diagon Alley. His son at his side. They had nearly finished shopping. They only had to go and pick Scorpius's wand and then he could finally go home. He was about to cross the street when he heard a laugh.

A laugh he had not heard in years. Her Laugh. He stopped and looked around trying to locate her. He searched frantically for a few minutes and then he saw her. She was laughing with Potter and the Weasleys. He knew that she had married Weasley. He could not stand him but she was happy and that was all that mattered to him even if it was with Weasley.

He stared at her. She was beautiful. He himself had married but he had not married Pansy Parkinson. He ended up marrying Astoria Greengrass but he did not love her. He had only loved one woman in his life and he always would for the rest of his life. No matter what he would always love Hermione Granger.

Author Note: I would like to thank my friend Tania for betaing this fic for me. I hope you like it. Read and Review please Dramione Forever.